Miracles happen to those who believe in them
– Bernard Berenson
A group of 3-year-old kids rushed to the playground. One of them fell off and started crying. All the rest rushed to him, put their hands on the crying boy’s leg, the crying stopped in a second and a group of 3-year-old kids continued to rush to their games.
A month earlier, I had taught them how to heal with Reiki. I had done a Reiki course and told them my teacher had said that kids have a natural energy in their hands that can heal and work magic.
I had also brought alfalfa seeds in sprouting containers. The kids and I had watered the seeds every day, held our hands over them for 2-3 minutes and three days later, a belief had sprouted from the container – the belief that kids’ hands can heal and work magic.
From that day on, whenever one of the kids cried, all the rest rushed to heal him with their hands and all was well again in no time.
Beliefs can cause all our problems in life. Luckily for us, beliefs are also the most powerful weapon we have against them. It just depends what kind of beliefs we have.
For the most part, beliefs are created in our minds without our consent. Most of the beliefs you have today were not formed through a process of conscious choice. Things that have happened to you in the past, things you have heard from people who are close to you or who you trust, things you have observed in the world around you, things you have been taught and even imagined create your belief system. Most of them have occurred during childhood, when you did not have enough life experience to doubt them.
Doubt is a defense mechanism in our mind that functions as a bodyguard and prevents beliefs from entering our system. This bodyguard evolves over the years. When kids are young, this bodyguard is not very developed and it has very simple ways to filter beliefs.
- If it is from someone close to me who cares for/about me, it must be true
- If I have heard it 3 or more times, it must be true
- If something has happened to me once, it will happen again
- Every painful experience must be recoded to so I do not get hurt again
- Every success experience must be recorded so I can make it happen again
Using these filters made it easy for me to plant a belief in my 3-year-olds’ minds. I knew I was an authority to them (filter 1), I merely had to say it for them to believe it. I chose to say it more than once (filter 2), add actual experiences (filter 3) and make them successful by using alfalfa seeds (filter 5). The kids had no choice but to believe they could heal and grow plants with their hands.
While working with kids in early childhood for many years, I knew the power I had to plant seeds in their minds, but while I was planting wonderful, powerful beliefs, I had to be very careful not to plant fear and low self-esteem, because their “bodyguards” were not developed enough to doubt me.
Any belief worth having must survive doubt
– Isaac Bashevis Singer
Theoretically, grownups have better bodyguards with better filters, because they have had more experiences more times. However, most of our beliefs develop in childhood, so as we grow up, we base new filters on the ones we already have. In essence, we mainly strengthen our childhood filters and become more effective at protecting our childhood beliefs.
Grownups are in a better position to have conscious choices about their beliefs, but they are missing one basic belief – “I can change my beliefs”. For so many years, their bodyguard has used simple techniques to filter information that they keep using those techniques and feel controlled by circumstances and/or by others.
Everyone has a bodyguard. It is a function that helps us survive. Learning how our bodyguard works is a fascinating process. In my work as a life coach, parenting coach and relationship coach, I help people examine their beliefs and their bodyguards. I guide them through getting rid of the beliefs that are bad for them and adopting new healthy and happy ones and I do it with or against the bodyguard.
When my clients have a bad belief, I trigger their bodyguard to doubt it by asking them to find examples that contradict it. When they have a good belief, I help their bodyguard accept it by asking them to find examples that strengthen and support it. The bodyguard then uses filter 5 and says, “Yes! This is a successful experience, so I need to let it in”.
My aim is to plant great beliefs, just as I did with the 3-year-olds, that my clients are strong, smart, powerful, able, capable, friendly, understanding, supportive, creative, loving, healthy and happy. But unlike the 3-year-olds, grownups have experienced lots of pain already, so it takes a bit longer with them and my success depends on how well I overcome their well-developed bodyguard. 100% of the time, the bodyguard will be there in my clients’ mind and doubt everything I say, so I need to disable the machine guns he has positioned everywhere to prevent me from planting new beliefs.
For those who believe, no proof is necessary.
For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible
– Stuart Chase
Seven Types of Bodyguards
Over the years, I discovered different types of bodyguards. It is amazing that the bodyguards kind of develop their own personality. I have discovered that getting to know the bodyguard is a very good way to handle him. I believe there are 7 types, which sometimes appear in combination.
The naïve bodyguard
His doubt is not very strong or solid. This bodyguard will ask soft, simple questions, as if giving you more tools to convince him that his “client” is wonderful.
This bodyguard is the easiest to convince. He wants you to convince him, so he gives you lots of clues to do that.
If you want to find out whether this is the personality of your bodyguard, ask yourself if you are easily influenced. If you are, just hang around people that have a good influence on you. If this is your bodyguard, you are in the best position and your path towards a happy life is easy.
The scientific bodyguard
This guy needs facts, figures, research and statistics to be convinced. Whenever you present a new claim to him, he quotes information from some research or article he has seen that proves it to be wrong or irrelevant. This bodyguard has a filter that says, “If someone has researched it, it must be true”.
For such people, personal examples will not be sufficient and if you want to convince them they are smart and capable, you need to research yourself for statistics, facts and figures that clearly put them in the category of smart and capable people.
If you want to find out whether this is your bodyguard personality, ask yourself if research and statistics give you reassurance. If they do, use them to your advantage. Do your own research on happiness, success, health and positive attitude and it will help you reach those states.
The anti-science bodyguard
Facts, figures, research and statistics put this bodyguard off and make it work overtime. Every time you present a bit of research to them, they say that it was probably done on 3 people, that it was sponsored by some company as a promotion, that the figures were faked to make it look good or that for every research that proves something there is another one that proves the opposite.
If you have heard yourself saying anything like these, you probably use the anti- science bodyguard to reject beliefs that could be good for you to have. Remember, every time you are saying something like that, you are shooting a potential belief that could make you stop crying when you bump your knee.
The way around this one is by using personal experience. If this is you, talk to others about your childhood memories and important events that have molded your personality and collect evidence that will help you change your beliefs.
The suspicious bodyguard
This type looks for hidden agendas, hidden meaning and hidden motives. Instead of examining potential new beliefs, he is preoccupied with the source of the new idea. For this bodyguard, the message is not important at all and is not even registered, as his focus is on “Why did she say that? What was he trying to do to me? What were their motives?”
In coaching, it is a bit easier to work with this bodyguard, because the agenda is very clear and the relationship is very clearly for the benefit of the client, but in a personal or work connection, it can be tough.
When you communicate with someone or something happens to you and instead of dealing with the new ideas presented to you, you look for a hidden agenda, your bodyguard is very suspicious and may be preventing you from adopting happy beliefs.
So to get those great beliefs about yourself, you can seek the help of people you trust and if you do not have wise relatives or friends that will do, use a professional.
The bulletproof bodyguard
Some people need beliefs to be bulletproof in order to be considered. A person having this type of bodyguard will expect the belief to be applicable in all conditions. This bodyguard uses the filter, “If there is even one example for which this belief does not apply, reject it”. This indicates an all-or-nothing personality and they will always have one example to prove the opposite and reject the new belief.
This bodyguard’s most useful weapon is the word “But”. He uses it not only when others present him with a new belief, but also in internal conversations. He comes up with a belief and shoots it with a “but”.
If you use the word “but” a lot, that means your bulletproof bodyguard is in action. In life coaching, bulletproof bodyguards are very hard to convince and it may seem like they do not want to change their circumstances (which is not true. They do. The use of this bodyguard is subconscious and they do not think they have any control over it).
With this bodyguard, watch your buts.
The procrastinator bodyguard
This type is indecisive about which belief to adopt. He has some kind of “split personality”, taking an option and its opposite and juggling between them continuously. He says, “If I believe this, it will be good for me, but if I believe the opposite, it can also be good for me”. Because none of them stands out, he never chooses between them.
People who have such a bodyguard find it hard to see more value in one option. They do everything within their (subconscious) power to give each belief and its opposite the same rating and let circumstances make their choices for them. For example, say something happens to them that presents a belief that they have done something very well and maybe they can apply for a job with their skill. To balance it out, they will connect to that belief something they have failed to do and they never apply for the job.
If you put things off a lot and have a huge list of things you need/want to do but never do, if you call yourself a procrastinator or if others consider you a procrastinator, it is a good idea to come up with a system to make choices.
For most people, the rules for making choices are internal, but for people with a procrastinator bodyguard, the rules must be external and systematic. For example, every time I need to make a choice, I give myself a deadline for the decision. Whatever choice I have made by the deadline, I follow. Also, every time I need to make a choice, I right my choices down on a piece of paper to prevent me from allowing the bodyguard to take over (this is why goal setting is always done on paper in writing).
The fortuneteller bodyguard
The fortuneteller bodyguard takes every new belief and projects it in his mind into a horrible future, using that final image to reject the new belief. This bodyguard is very creative and imaginative.
People with this type of bodyguard use futuristic statements like, “It will end up badly” or “This will get me in trouble”. This bodyguard is pessimistic and sees bad endings everywhere. He is also a bit depressed and has no hope.
It is very easy to identify this bodyguard, for he is very scared of change and talks about how things will turn against him if he adopts a new belief. It is a bit hard to convince such a person that his bodyguard is not a good fortuneteller without optimism, hope and faith.
If you find yourself thinking about a negative, unhappy, sad and horrible future, your fortuneteller bodyguard has taken over. Try finding a safe space, relaxed, with great, supportive people and without any pressure and dismiss your bodyguard. During life coaching, I often use NLP timeline techniques to spread cheer in dark parts of the imagination.
Remember, we all have one or more of these bodyguards and they are there to protect us, but we do not want them to stop us thinking good thoughts about ourselves. Hopefully, choosing the right bodyguard and managing him can help you believe in your own creativity, healing powers, love, success, warmth, fulfillment and happiness. The choice is in your hands.
Be Happy in LIFE!